County fairs are more than just funnel cakes and ferris wheels.
Though those are some of the best parts.
For many though, the annual county fair is when months of hard work come to fruition. It's a time when community comes together to celebrate the things they do best.
The Rogers County Fair is where the community earns bragging rights, where bakers, gardeners, and crafters are challenged and inspired by one another.
It's where tradition and nostalgia are kept alive, where family recipes earn blue ribbons and where doing things the way grandma taught us earns best in show.
In the hubbub of day-to-day life, county fairs are a reminder of the things that really matter.
They're a celebration of families working together and a reminder that good things take time, effort, and care.
Student athletes have pep rallies, parades and festivities—but county fairs are a chance for FFA and 4-H to enjoy the well-earned spotlight.
They give students (and their parents) the opportunity to celebrate a year of work.
It's a chance, too, for them to educate the rest of us.
In talking about the fair with a friend, a former FFA member and current FFA mom, I was reminded that the fair represents a way of life that many of us have found a way to ignore.
"Without agriculture," she reminded me. "We don't eat."
Agriculture education, and support of those folks that are growing food is important, as is educating others on where food comes from.
"Sadly, a huge population today believes milk comes from the store and burgers from a restaurant without much thought of how those items get there," she said.
The county fair provides the perfect opportunity for education on the past, present and future of agriculture.
"Fairs give us life lessons," I was reminded. "to respect the land, respect the animals we are raising and respect the work that goes into our projects."
Groups like FFA and 4-H teach responsibility, citizenship, community pride, community service, and respect.
And the tradition of a county fair is the perfect way to showcase those very things.
The Rogers County Fair kicks off today and runs through the weekend. If you haven't been, I encourage you to check it out this weekend—you may be surprised at what you find.
Cydney Baron is the editor of the Claremore Progress.